July 31, 2002

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Senate Hearings on Iraq Attack
In the Senate Foreign Relations Committee today, senators heard that it would be more effective–and less costly–if the US were to attack Iraq sooner rather than later.  But questions remain about the credentials of some of today’s witnesses.  Critics of US policy toward Iraq–and some senators–complain the committee’s witness list is stacked with those who favor renewed attacks.  Joshua Chaffin reports from Capitol Hill

A Trip Through No Fly Zones
Although the Bush administration has not yet declared war against Iraq, American warplanes regularly bomb the country in the north and south under the guise of so-called no-fly zones. But Baghdad has begun defying these zones by reopening Iraqi Airways civilian flights to the south of the country. FSRN correspondent Jeremy Scahill was recently in Iraq, where he was one of the few Americans to fly through the no fly zone in a plane that did not belong to the Pentagon.

Women in the Sudan
Following last week’s peace accords between the Sudanese rebel leader and the government, which to many signaled considerable progress towards peace in a country wracked by war since the mid eighties, yesterday it appears that government forces and militia committed a massacre killing up to 1000 people.  As so often has happened in the past, these latest allegations of a massacre have cast doubt upon the real commitment to peace on the part of the various warring parties in Southern Sudan. For almost two decades, the southern Sudanese have been battling for independence against the government in the north of the country. And in their traditionally polygamous societies, women have always played a crucial role in a families accumulation of wealth through the exchange of cattle at marriage. However, the country’s near 20 year civil war has added to the pressures faced by women in the region. Rupert Cook reports.

Reparations Rally in NY
Major corporations, including Fleet and AETNA today went to court to try to dismiss lawsuits filed against them by African Americans for reparations from profits made by these corporations during the slave trade. The hearing, in a Brooklyn Federal District Court today, was adjourned to September 12 to give both sides more time to amend and consolidate their cases. Meanwhile, as Nadja Middleton reports, activists rallied last night in Harlem to show their support for reparations nationwide.

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